The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Graduate News

Mon, January 26, 2009

Dr. Laura Seay ...
April 15, 2009

Laura Seay this afternoon defended her dissertation, “Authority at Twilight: Civil Society, Social Services, and the State in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.” In the absence of state provision of social services, such as health and education, the dissertation explains why some civil society organizations provide services better than others. Laura earned the support of successive Malcom MacDonald fellowships and completed extensive field research in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2005 and 2007. Catherine Boone chaired the dissertation committee. Laura has accepted a tenure-track position at Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia.

International Migration and Democratic Diffusion
March 18, 2009

“Do Migrants Remit Democracy? International Migration, Political Beliefs, and Behavior in Mexico,” by Clarisa Perez-Armendariz and David Crow will be published in Comparative Political Studies in September, but the article is available now online. The authors show that international migrants strengthen democracy in their countries of origin. Focusing on micro-level change, they demonstrate that contact with democratic countries changes individual migrants, who subsequently change the people they know and their communities. This article, based on Crow’s national survey in Mexico, addresses the central themes of Perez-Amerndariz’s dissertation, which she will defend this summer, before assuming a tenure-track position at Bates College.

China’s National Oil Companies: Security-Seeking or Profit-Maximizing?
March 10, 2009

Chih-shian Liou’s article, “Bureaucratic Politics and Overseas Investment by Chinese State-Owned Oil Companies: Illusory Champions,” has been accepted for publication by Asian Survey. Liou demonstrates that, rather than being subservient to state interests and demands, China’s National Oil Companies have independent commercial interests that drive their investment decisions. No longer suffocated by a strict command economy, for China’s National Oil Companies, economic self-interests trump the central state’s security goals.

Judicial Reform in Brazil – Comparative Politics to Publish Rodrigo Nunes’ Article
February 23, 2009

Rodrigo Nunes’ “Politics without Insurance: Democratic Competition and Judicial Reform in Brazil,” has been accepted for publication in Comparative Politics. Analyzing judicial reform in Brazil since 1988, Nunes explains why elected officials who expect to remain in office voluntarily delegate authority to courts and thereby create a check on executive and legislative power. Drawing from unique databases and personal interviews, Nunes shows how elected leaders push for a stronger and more independent judiciary when doing so furthers their policy agendas.

Department Landing Premier Publications
February 12, 2009

Mijeong Baek and Justin Dyer have articles forthcoming in two of political science’s premier journals.

The American Journal of Political Science publishes Baek’s article, "A Comparative Analysis of Political Communication Systems and Voter Turnout," in April.

The Journal of Politics has accepted Dyer’s article, "Somerset and the Antislavery Tradition in Anglo-American Constitutional Development," for publication. Dyer just published an article, "Lincolnian Natural Right and the Jurisprudence of John McLean," in the January 2009 issue of Polity.

Forthcoming Graduate Student Publications
January 26, 2009

Eduardo Dargent’s “Determinants of Judicial Autonomy: Lessons from three cases of Constitutional Courts in Peru (1982-2007),” will be published this May in the Journal of Latin American Studies. Dargent substantiates that political pluralism is a necessary condition for the emergence of independent courts.

Austin Hart’s “Death of the Partisan? Globalization and Taxation in South America, 1990-2006,” will be published next year in Comparative Political Studies. Hart brings evidence against the thesis that global economic pressures have supplanted political ideology as the driving force of revenue policy. Partisanship, Hart finds, is a reliable indicator of tax revenue in the period under examination, and, by embracing the value added tax, pro-market political parties generated more tax revenue than did interventionist parties on the left of the political spectrum.

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